iMocha, the AI-powered Skills Intelligence Cloud platform, along with EY, the professional services organisation launched their second report on skills transformation today titled, “The Skills-First Transformation: A new approach to unlocking talent potential”. This report is based on primary research via interviews and surveys with 560 HR leaders and employees across BFSI, IT, Tech, Telecom, and other industries across the US, EMEA, India, SEA and ANZ regions.

As the “Skills-First” approach is being widely advocated by industry leaders and analysts, the research was focused on finding the prevalence of ‘Skills-First Transformation’ (SFT) among global companies and industry sectors. The study further covered SFT’s position among the various priorities of HR leaders, business benefits, views from employees on benefits for them and challenges to be overcome along the way.

The findings reveal that 56 per cent of companies worldwide are embracing SFT, with US-based enterprises leading this trend at 74 per cent. The report indicates that over half of global enterprises, particularly in telecom (66 per cent ), technology (66 per cent), and IT (58 per cent ), have adopted the Skills-First approach. 

Transformative shift

The US leads this transformative shift, emphasising the development of diverse HR capabilities beyond traditional roles. Skills intelligence plays a crucial role in these transformations, with ‘Building Future Skills’ now a priority amidst tech and business disruptions.

Enterprises adopting SFT report significant HR improvements, especially in employee retention and performance optimisation. Additionally, SFT adopters exhibited 2x higher revenue growth in the past two to three years compared to non-adopters. Notably, 4 out of 5 employees prefer companies with a skills-first approach, directly influencing enterprise success. However, only 44 per cent feel sufficiently supported in upskilling, despite 69 per cent recognising changes in required skillsets.

Amit Mishra, CEO and Founder of iMocha stated, “The operational landscape, especially in tech-driven sectors, has become extremely dynamic, and only a Skills-First Transformation is expected to keep enterprises steadily moving on the path to sustainable growth. Employees want to upskill and reskill to stay relevant; they are eager to showcase their skills and be recognised for them.”

Preeti Anand, Partner, Business Consulting at EY India mentioned, “In today’s dynamic workforce, the demand for technology and AI skills, coupled with evolving employee expectations, has given rise to the organizational imperative of ‘Skills-First Transformation’ (SFT). India boasts one of the top tech talent markets in the world, at par with Europe and US. With a substantial 46 per cent of HR leaders focusing on SFT, the country has a crucial role to play in this transformative journey”.